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Downloading With Internet Relay Chat

Jun 27, 2008
IRC, as with most downloading techniques, is accessed through a client (networking program) which connects the user's machine to a server. There are thousands of Internet Relay Chat servers around the world which can either be independent setups, or part of a public network such as EFNet, DALNet or UnderNet.

How it works

Once connected to a server, you choose a relevant channel (chat room) where you can observe what's on offer, search for files, or join in with discussions. Channel names usually explain their general topic, so if you are looking for one offering movies, you should use terms such as 'movies', 'divx', and avi' etc in your channel searches.

Entering a 'downloading' channel for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Usually you will get numerous lines of text scrolling quickly down the screen that look random and confusing, but with practice it becomes straightforward and you will be able to chat, run file searches and, request files with ease.

The scrolling text mostly consists of automated messages called bots which advertise people's File Servers (FServes), and provide instructions on how to log in, and download the files you want.

When you select a file to download, your client will initiate a DCC (Direct Client-to-Client) connection for the file transfer, which is carried out independently of the IRC server.

Although 'Internet Relay Chat' was never meant to be used in this way, it performs pretty well and possesses many advanced file transfer mechanisms, including the ability to resume a download if it becomes interrupted.

Internet Relay Chat terminology

On this page you will find all the most useful Internet Relay Chat terminology to help you understand the technique better.

IRC network:

A series of IRC Servers that are identified as being part of the same group.

IRC server:

A computer that provides IRC services to an end user.


This stands for 'Internet Relay Chat daemon', and is the software used for IRC servers.


A person who owns or runs the server, and who is ultimately in charge.


A user that has special access given to them by the administrator. Their functions include enforcing server rules, helping users with problems and ensuring the servers stay up and running.


Message Of The Day. This is the message you see when you connect to an IRC server, which will usually contain the server rules, and any important announcements.


A meeting place or 'Chat Room' where IRC users can chat, advertise files they want to share, and access


An IRC script that performs automated functions. Sending messages to the channel, being one of the most common.


Short for File Server, these contain the files that are available for downloading.


A method of communication by using typed statements. A chat session can take place between any number of people and is visible to everyone on the channel.


Private Message. Similar to a chat session, but kept private between two people.

IRC commands:

Similar to DOS commands, they allow a user to navigate Fserves and download files.


Direct Client to Client. This is the protocol that connects users together for file transfers, instead of going thorough the IRC servers.
About the Author
Jon Mills has created the TotalDownloader website which provides information on downloading techniques, increasing your speeds, maintaining anonymity, and much more. So get started now with your free 6 part course at TotalDownloader.com
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